Friday, July 04, 2008

 

Can't Buy Me Love

Breaking news! The Battle of Alberta has learned that the Edmonton Oilers have signed...nobody...to anything.

Despite a constant barrage of stories from TSN, Sportsnet, The Edmonton Journal, The Edmonton Sun, National Post, Team 1260, some dude in Philly, my mom, L'Osservatore Romano, TMZ, and The Daily Planet, the Oilers did not sign Marian Hossa, Jaromir Jagr, or Georges Laraque to contracts this week. Oh sure, we all had some good times, pretending that a seven-year, sixty-three million dollar contract to a guy putting up Kristian Huselius-like numbers was a great idea, but in the end it was just some dry humping and a bad case of the blue balls. We never did close any deals.

Coming into this season, the Oilers needed to upgrade in three areas: top six scoring, defensive depth, and team toughness. Looking at Lowetide's depth chart today, it looks to me like we are still lacking in two of those areas. We got our top-six scoring and a big body in Erik Cole, but the current roster is still severely lacking in toughness/physicality. There's Cole, Brodziak, Moreau (if he's healthy), and...that's it up front. Considering rivalries with Calgary, Minny and Anaheim, I was hoping we would have added at least one guy who could drop the gloves (and win, which eliminates Stortini) by now. The team also needs another veteran defenceman, someone who can spell Dennis Grebeshkov, Ladislav Smid or Gilbert Gilbert when they need a game off, or fill in for Sheldon Souray when his inevitable injury comes along. So far? No dice.

Is this bothersome? Not really. The remaining holes didn't need to be filled immediately, as they are more about secondary roles than primary ones. But it's probably about time that management and the new owner stop throwing money at the captain of the cheerleading squad. I've seen the teen comedies. That never works out.



p.s. Thanks to Mike, Dave and Cosh for the good time last night. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Comments:

but this is all about optics andy...optics! no wants to be a winner they just want to look like one. that being said, the secondary role players should be easy enough to find amongst the remaining nhler's in need of a contract.
 


but this is all about optics andy...optics!

I have no doubt they wanted Hossa and Jagr, but I also have no doubt they didn't mind missing out on them. Lowe and Katz looked giddy at the press conference, even after losing out of Hossa. I also think Staples is right that a big part of getting Hossa had to do with a new arena.

I'd like to see four more moves happen before the end of summer.

1) Extend Horcoff
2) Extend Cole
3) Sign/trade for a veteran D-man
4) Sign/trade for a hitter/fighter

Names I would like to see on an Oilers jersey:

Nolan, Shanahan, Gelinas, Malik, Smith. And there are probably others. Not a lot of fighters left, sadly.
 


Patrick Dempsey: "You demolished me New Years eve."

Keep this line in mind, Oilers fans.
 


AG: Um, "Huselius-like" numbers?

Last three seasons:
Hossa: 1.19PPG
Huselius: 0.79PPG

Exclude Huselius' numbers from Florida: 0.84PPG

Hossa is an elite player. Nobody says that about Huselius for a reason.

Agreed with your list of 4 moves, though only the first two really have to happen this summer. Trades could happen later.
 


i'm with you andy. a couple of useful hopefully somewhat tough veterans should do this team some good. i think the horcoff extension is on the way. as for cole...i think we have to wait until midseason for that...you know as soon as the price has gone up.

i think the attempted deals did their purpose because the excitement in this town has hit an all time high. even stauffer is being positive. i think that has more to do with him being scared to death of katz but that's a whole other issue.
 


Um, "Huselius-like" numbers?

I know, Rod. I was just having fun with the ones from last year. I figure if the Oilers and certain writers at the Edmonton Journal can make up stories about Smyth being "injury prone," I can do the same with Hossa's numbers. :)

Career-wise, he is less than a point a game guy, though. That's not elite. Elite to me is HoF-worthy, and he certainly isn't that. And I've never even noticed him as a player. That's the best way I can describe it. Not worth $9 million to me, especially for seven straight years.

as for cole...i think we have to wait until midseason for that...you know as soon as the price has gone up.

I watched him tons back when I still liked the Whalers, and I love the guy. I'd look to extend right away.

Huh. I just realized the only UFAs we have next year are Horcoff, Cole, Roloson and Garon. And the only RFA of note is Grebeshkov. Not bad. Not bad at all. Roli will be gone, Horcoff will hopefully be extended, and that just leaves a couple guys.
 


Keep this line in mind, Oilers fans.

Yes, because Rene Bourque and Kyle Treebeard terrify me
 


Good point on the short list of pending FAs for the Oil next summer. Compare that to the Ducks...

Burke has just the one year remaining on his contract, and it shows.
 


Off topic but still BoA (football edition)...

What a game last night! If you haven't seen the highlights yet, Tucker made an astounding TD catch with under a minute to play (put Edmonton back in front after Calgary had taken the lead with about 1:30 left in the game). Some actual offense from the Esks for the first time in a few years. Campbell looks like a great addition. Capped off by Tucker's truly exceptional catch.

Online clips don't quite do the catch justice...but, here's a couple links:
- TSN video clip
- Youtube (game highlights)
 


Names I would like to see on an Oilers jersey:

Nolan, Shanahan, Gelinas, Malik, Smith. And there are probably others. Not a lot of fighters left, sadly.


What about these guys, Andy? No real physical guys, but lots who could help out up front.
 


Marek Malik? Are you effing crazy???

Someone's got some 'splainin to do!
 


What about these guys, Andy?

Are you asking, Jonathan, or just trying to put a link up? ;)

I'm off to Kelowna, so I won't be able to look, and answer you until then. But at first glance, I'd say yes to Gelinas (I had him on my list), Vasicek and Brylin. I do worry about Brylin's age, though. I'm also wondering about Peca. I loathed him for 3/4 of the season he was here, but he put it together at the end of the season and in the playoffs. I imagine he, Pisani and a healthy Moreau could do a lot of damage as a third or fourth line.
 


Marek Malik? Are you effing crazy???

I'm onboard the Malik train too. He had shockingly good numbers against tough opposition, and should be cheap to boot.
 


Are you asking, Jonathan, or just trying to put a link up? ;)

I am hurt, Andy. Just hurt, and shocked, and angry, and blast it, you caught me! ;)

I'd say yes to Gelinas (I had him on my list), Vasicek and Brylin. I do worry about Brylin's age, though. I'm also wondering about Peca. I loathed him for 3/4 of the season he was here, but he put it together at the end of the season and in the playoffs. I imagine he, Pisani and a healthy Moreau could do a lot of damage as a third or fourth line.

Fair enough. I personally think that Vasicek is the best option, but hey, thats me. I didnt put Peca up because I have the sneaky feeling that a) he will not play in Edmonton again, and b) he will be looking for decent cash. Still, I agree he would be a nice third-line pivot.

I'm off to Kelowna

Have fun, thats a lovely place to spend a weekend in the summer.
 


Yes, because Rene Bourque and Kyle Treebeard terrify me

You forgot Ryan Wilson. Tremble!
 


Elite to me is HoF-worthy, and he certainly isn't that.

Boy, I know I always look to the HHOF to tell me who's a good hockey player and who isn't.

Come on Andy.
 


Grabia: Why do you want a fighter so badly?

Laraque I can understand because he can have an impact as a player, but surely you aren't looking for just any tough guy.

Also, I wouldn't worry at all about extending Cole. The $4MM in cap space may be worth as much as the player IMO.
 


Canadian Press:
Canadiens add toughness, sign enforcer Laraque to three-year deal

1 day ago

MONTREAL — When enforcer Georges Laraque played against Montreal last season, he noticed they were missing a big, tough player like himself.

Laraque filled that need Thursday when the brawny unrestricted free agent signed a US$4.50-million, three-year contract with the Canadiens.

The Montreal native said he had his way on the ice last season when his Pittsburgh Penguins played against Montreal, a team loaded with smaller, skilled forwards who tried to get by without an enforcer and rely on what coach Guy Carbonneau called "team toughness."

"I elbowed (Canadiens defenceman) Francis Bouillon and no one did anything about it," Laraque said on a conference call from his home in Edmonton. "When you're a heavyweight and you play a team that doesn't have one, you can run around.
 


I figure if the Oilers and certain writers at the Edmonton Journal can make up stories about Smyth being "injury prone," I can do the same with Hossa's numbers.

To be fair, Smyth's style of play can, has, and does open him up to more injuries; that hasn't been "made up" in the slightest. The rationalization only falls apart in the wake of the Souray signing.
 


To be fair, Smyth's style of play can, has, and does open him up to more injuries; that hasn't been "made up" in the slightest.

Trick question: who has been more durable in their NHL career, Ryan Smyth or Ales Hemsky?
 


I see what you did there. ;) Yes, over their careers, it's quite similar, but since the lockout, Smyth has played 67 games per season; Hemsky, 73. Yeah, you could talk around the numbers six ways from Sunday: add in '03-'04, and the numbers change to 70.8 and 72.5, respectively. Prior to that, well, I'm not sure that you ever want to include rookie seasons, because there's almost always PB duty involved there. (For reference, Horcoff's numbers are 70.7 since the lockout and 73 since '03-'04 -- last year's injury kind of kneecapped his durability record, which had been superb until then; he missed just 7 of 246 games from 2003-2007.)

Look, I was no fan of trading the guy at the time, and I think the fact that they were on him in the media for being "not elite" was cheap. I said it at the time on these very blogs. Maybe last year was just a bad year for him, but I'm willing to wager that Smyth misses more time over the course of his deal than Hemsky does in the same time.
 


Lowe unloaded on Burke finally. Alrighty by me
 


Bertuzzi to the Flames??!!? WTF, Oil win the 08/09 BoA by moral default.
 


"You know," said Darryl Sutter thoughtfully, "Owen Nolan was pretty good. But I'd like to have a new over-the-hill power forward. Somebody who's slower, worse defensively, and scores less. Somebody so bad he was actually bought out by the president of his fan club."

Yes, Todd Bertuzzi is a douchebag, we all know that. But the great thing about this is that it's such a crappy hockey signing as well!
 


sigh...

...

sigh.
 


I remember back when Keenan was hired and alot of people around here wondered out loud how long it would take keenan to fill the team with his players, being a control freak and all.

Well I guess about a year.
 


I can't think of a more appropriate time for a Slow Clap.
 


10 bucks says Matt comes back from vacation with some fancy numbers, a few pie charts and a pot shot at his real favorite team(Come on, we all know he secretly loves the oil) to show how Bert is going to only help the falmes.


Or this might be enough to send him into a Grabia retirement.
 


Lord Bob--it seems you have made explicit the Sutter thought-process on this one.

The second best thing about the Bertuzzi signing is that now all Canucks fans can finally let out a sigh of relief, and hope that the rumours about negotiations with Bert were all fiction.

You already know what the best thing about this is.
 


I love it. The Flames are going down. Bert - what a joke.
 


Attention Flames Fans

5v5

Bertuzzi with Getzlaf:

Minutes: 438:37
GF: 32
GF/20: 1.459
GA: 14
GA/20: 0.638

Bertuzzi without Getzlaf:

Minutes: 414:33
GF: 9
GF/20: 0.434
GA: 17
GA/20: 0.820

I'm surprised Getzlaf's back made it through the season carrying Bertuzzi around.
 


10 bucks says Matt comes back from vacation with some fancy numbers, a few pie charts and a pot shot at his real favorite team(Come on, we all know he secretly loves the oil) to show how Bert is going to only help the falmes.

As Kinger's ugly scoring-rate split suggests, looking at the numbers in this case only makes things even worse.

What I love about the signing is that it shatters the last illusions about Keenanism being the ruling ideology of the franchise AND creates a complete moral crisis in Cattle Creek. Look, I've rooted for some pretty vicious bastards over the years, but is Matt really gonna sit with his kids Saturday night and teach them to cheer for Todd Bertuzzi?
 


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